This waterfront orthopedic clinic in Arcachon, which specialised in the treatment of osseous tuberculosis, was allegedly the scene of ...

When it rained stones on Arcachon’s orthopedic clinic


This waterfront orthopedic clinic in Arcachon, which specialised in the treatment of osseous tuberculosis, was allegedly the scene of a series of paranormal events throughout a four-month period in 1963. After all these years, no definite explanation has enabled the case to be fully closed.

The most complete account of the mysterious goings-on were filed by the owner of the clinic, known to some as “La Clinique des Allongés”, the respected physician Dr Cuénot (member of France’s Académie de Médecine and the son of renowned biologist and genetician Lucien Cuénot). His writings were published by the Revue Métapsychique in June 1966.

Cuénot reported that the events began in May 1963, as patients relaxed outside on the terrace, making the most of some early-evening sunshine, which was particularly welcome after what had been a cold winter and a rainy start to the spring. All of a sudden, they found themselves pelted by a flurry of stones, pebbles and pieces of brick showering down from the upper levels of the building. Nurses rushed inside to work out where the stones were being thrown from, but to no avail.

The (high-tide) Bassin-side view of the clinic (source: sudinsolite.com),
and Résidence Maupassant Plage, the residential building which is now in its place.
The scenario repeated itself over the following days, mainly around dusk, and the stones would never fall outside the walls of the clinic. It began to look like the incidents were the work of a prankster but still no logical theory was forthcoming. One thing which could be established was that the projectiles, which varied in shape and size, had not been culled from the structure of the clinic itself. And, as much as they would shower down on their victims, no-one was ever seriously hit, let alone injured. As the days passed, the patients did their utmost to ignore what was happening. It was not to be easy though.

Patients relaxing during a break
in the stone showers (source: Mystère TV).
One evening in August, one patient (whose day-job was in the police force in Paris) looked up just as a large stone was being thrown from a window up on the second floor of a wing which was unoccupied. He didn’t see anyone’s face or arm, just the stone emerging from the window. That wing was immediately checked by staff but nothing was found and the room in question was locked and empty.

On another occasion, four patients were on the terrace when the stone-throwing began. They went upstairs to check the relevant part of the building but the investigation proved fruitless. Returning to the terrace the stones began to fall again. They went back inside and once more tried to uncover the culprit. Again, the quest was futile.

Finally, one day when the weather was particularly nice, absolutely all the staff and patients were out enjoying the sun. As the stone showers began it became clear that none of the patients or staff could be considered as the guilty party.

Jacqueline, or possibly Angelina,
or maybe both (source: Mystère TV).
With no rational explanation taking shape, a parapsychologist – one Robert Toquet – was drafted in to assess the situation. Toquet was adamant the events were not part of an elaborate prank and noticed a possible connection between the goings-on and the presence of one “Angelina”, who regularly appeared to be the victim of the stone showers. After her departure in July, attentions turned instead to “Jacqueline”, a 17-year-old Spanish patient. If she was not around, nothing would happen. But if she happened to be on the terrace, the stones and gravel would rain down.

Cuénot thought back a few weeks and realised the events had begun when he had announced the upcoming closure of the clinic to nursing staff and patients. He began to think that Jacqueline had been so severely affected by the announcement that she was using poltergeist-like telekinetic means to permanently “occupy” the premises.

Dr Cuénot (source: Mystère TV).
On September 1st, Cuénot took Jacqueline to one side for a long conversation. Some consider the talk to have been a form of exorcism. At the very least, she got a lot off her chest; Jacqueline was jaded, wasn’t interested in having a relationship, didn’t want children, would laugh at funerals and cry at weddings. Whatever, after the pep talk the stone showers ceased overnight (by now it was estimated that around 1,000 stones had fallen to the ground), although lesser incidents began to take place: mainly unexplained banging and bedroom doors which would mysteriously open and close.

Meanwhile Toquet declared the events of the previous weeks had been of “paranormal nature” and that it was “impossible to explain them through the use of normal factors of interpretation”. As planned, Cuénot did go on to sell the clinic which he had owned for more than 25 years. As the sea-front continued to develop in subsequent years, a modern residential building went up in its place. And, until evidence is provided of the contrary, it is perfectly safe to walk past the building without having to worry about stones being thrown from upper storeys!

2 comments:

  1. So that's where Ken Loach got the idea from...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He may have changed some of the names.

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